The Battery

The Daily Plant : Friday, September 14, 2001


Mayor Giuliani is leading City agencies in a coordinated effort to search and clear the site of the World Trade Center collapse and restore important services to New Yorkers. On a rotating basis, Parks' Commissioners, Chiefs, and managers are helping to staff the Mayor's around-the-clock command center where they communicate with other agencies about the goods and services needed at Ground Zero, and assign the boroughs to assist as they can. Below is an overview of Parks' contributions at the end of last week.

On the first inclement day since the collapse of the World Trade Center, Friday, September 14, Parks assisted rescue workers by providing hundreds of raincoats and boot covers as well as tables and chairs for a Grief Center at the Lexington Avenue Armory, and fueled vehicles all around the city.

Since Wednesday, an intensive clean up has been concentrated in City Hall Park where the dust was one to two inches thick and the ground was covered in papers. Randall's Island is now serving as a staging ground for the National Guard. 1,500 to 1,000 troops will be staying there. Five Boro is providing electricity and water for them, and making offices and garages available. Orchard Beach in the Bronx is closed to the public, available for helicopter landings.

The Brooklyn Office opened the newly acquired Purchase building as a storage facility for corporate donations of disaster relief supplies, and is expecting to staff the facility 24 hours a day. Brooklyn also loaned two vans to the local fire station. The vans have been used to shuttle the families of missing firefighters around the city.

On Friday, Queens Parks delivered trenching tools to the Office of Emergency Management. Alley Pond Park and Juniper Valley Park are being used for FDNY and NYPD emergency response personnel parking, Cunningham Park and Shea Stadium for mobilization.

Also on Friday, Staten Island Parks delivered 100 chairs to the Navy Home Port in Staten Island where rescue workers will shower and rest. A Parks parking lot is storing 300 vans to transport rescue workers.

Parks is now the only agency with Geographic Information Systems capabilities. MIS and NRG spent Friday, September 14 at the Mayor's command center, wiring the facility for GIS service.

PEP officers and Urban Park Rangers are helping to maintain order along the perimeter of the West Side Highway and Battery Park City. They are stationed along the Hudson River Promenade and at the helicopter landing pad at North Park in Battery Park City. Officers have escorted doctors and members of the press to their assignments. They have also taken Battery Park City residents to and from their homes as they retrieve pets and belongings. With the Battery Park City Authority, PEP officers are feeding and caring for house pets as necessary.

In a variety of ways, Parks is making itself useful as an institution, and Parkies are helping the City achieve its goals in a time of crisis. Thank you for your good work.


Those who would like to give blood should call 1-800-933-BLOOD. Many thanks to those who have already donated.


At Pelham Fritz, Sorrentino, Von King, and St. James Recreation Centers talent has been incubating for more than five weeks. On the night of Monday, August 20, it broke out in the Arsenal Gallery. The percussion program, a citywide music education program is unique among Parks recreation center activities. Participants, who range in age from 7 to 15, are selected for their talent and commitment. Under the tutelage of professional artists and educators, dozens of kids each year learn to make percussive music during free classes held three times a week for an hour and a half. This summer, funds from Parks, the City Parks Foundation, and Warner Music supported the program. Instructors Mark Koppell, Alison Mondesir, Angel Rodriguez, and David Pleasant (who has been teaching with the performance project since it started) worked with co-coordinators Patrick Epstein and James (The Brewer) Brown to plan a successful summer. After studying and developing a show, the kids performed at Summer Fun festivals and Arts in the Parks events throughout the city. They drummed up a good crowd for the finale in the Arsenal Gallery; dozens of friends and parents were in attendance.


A benefit concert with Lyle Lovett on August 20 wrapped up a season of free and fundraising concerts by Central Park SummerStage on the Rumsey Playfield. The international arts festival was a great success in this, its 16th season. A total of 79 performances drew artists from 29 countries. Twelve of the performances were debuts and 4 were world premiers of works commissioned by SummerStage. Performances ran the gamut from hip hop to opera, spoken word to Indian rai, and modern dance to traditional Cuban dance.

"A great city is that which has the greatest men and women, If it be a few ragged huts it is still the greatest city in the whole world."
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

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